At just before 10:00 am after a two and a half hour standby, Heat 5 of Round 3 got started as the highly anticipated increase in swell finally materialized, launching solid 4-5 foot sets into the black lava reef of Keramas Beach.
First up was Marc Lacomare of France, last year’s runner up, taking out the remaining Indonesian surfer Dewa Made Ardika. Ardika had waited patiently for most of the 35-minute heat, hoping for a big barrel opportunity, but it was only seconds after the horn blew that one came rolling through for him.
Shaun Joubert of South Africa was also unlucky and lost his bid for the quarterfinal against fellow countryman Brendon Gibbens. Joubert looked to have the win firmly in his grasp, scorning several nice barrels, until Gibbens locked into a beauty right in front on him to take the lead. Joubert had one last chance and took a late drop into a wide-open bomb, but got blown off inside to lose the heat.
Charly Martin from France put on a clinic in Heat 7 against Japan’s Arashi Kata, scoring first a 9.5, the highest wave score of the day, then following up with a 7.13 to leave Kata in combo land.
With the wind starting to be a factor, the last heat of the day saw Alejo Muniz from Brazil going nuts on the big wrinkly faces of the still sizable Keramas righthanders against Billy Stairmand from New Zealand. Stairmand put up some nice scores but couldn’t overcome the lead that the ripping Brazilian had build up, leaving him out of a quarterfinal berth.
Tomorrow’s call is for a 9:30 am start, with the forecast predicting a further increase in swell, so expect the quarterfinal action to be very exciting with the remaining 8 boys pulling out all the stops on their race for the podium and the $20,000 USD first place prize money.
Quarterfinal match-ups are as follows:
Heat 1 = Granger Larson (HAW) vs Sam Wrench (AUS)
Heat 2 = Clay Marzo (HAW) vs Kai Barger (HAW)
Heat 3 = Marc Lacomare (FRA) vs Brendon Gibbens (ZAF)
Heat 4 = Charly Martin (FRA) vs Alejo Muniz (BRA)